I thought maybe I could skirt by the end of the semester without having yet another article written out about my unhealthy relationship to Luna, but maybe that was a little too naïve and fruitful thinking on my part. I think decoding this relationship is an appropriate use of my thoughts to model the process I’ve undergone to come to the conclusion that this relationship was and is unhealthy, in the hopes that maybe someone else reading this can uncover some of those same tendrils of darkness in their own lives.
An unhealthy relationship can take place in any interpersonal relationship—friends, family, romantic partners, co-workers, etc. Understanding the root cause and what it is we are anticipating to “get” from one another is a really, really big part of the issue. In particular for me this isn’t exactly something I mapped out clearly for myself prior to this point in time. Meaning, I had once a few years ago listed out in a journal what I would be looking for in a future romantic partner, but I never really thought about the values I look for in good friends and other encounters with people. This, I believe, is something where hindsight is always 20/20. So, although I hadn’t previously listed out what I look for in my relationships, now is a good time to start to help me navigate future relationships (because patterns will be patterns, and I’m likely to repeat the same behaviors I did yesterday tomorrow).
We probably wouldn’t need to know about interpersonal effectiveness and conflict resolution if everything could be neat, tidy, and in between the lines. But life, as it were, is messy and gray and complicated. Life dictates whether a relationship ends with closure or with a gaping hole. I, personally, would like closure in my relationships, so that if I were to have to deal with an opened Pandora’s Box I could close it efficiently.
But that’s just not realistic. Because some relationships will end messy and hectic, and it’s better for me now to prepare myself for these messy endings than to hide and wait for them to come to me. I guess my point is that it’s important for me to be proactive and skillful in my recovery and my interactions with the world, opting for the healthier choice when tempted with the unhealthy choice.
And it’s tough. It’s really, really hard and there are *so* many emotions that course through me because inherently I do want to engage with and interact with Luna, but because of those very same emotions I cannot. At the worst extreme, the reality is that if I interact with Luna I’m going to wind up in a crisis and hospitalized. So far, my active use of DBT skills has culminated into having slowed down time between a near-crisis and an actual crisis. Twice I’ve neared crisis in November but managed with skills to back away before one ever took place. And by crisis, I mean where emotions are high and I can’t keep myself safe.
No one and no thing—not even Luna—is worth getting suicidal over. And it’s difficult because I wish it were different from that. But in reality, it’s just not.
In my session with June, it was brought up whether Luna was ever really there for me. And I would say yes, but when it really mattered, no, no they weren’t—but *I* was there for me. Besides, things are different now. I’ve changed so much in these last ten months, more than Luna even realizes, because they’re just not in my life anymore and I can’t afford to go backwards.
I’ve done so much work on myself, so much time in recovery and getting better, that to engage with Luna would only be pure self-sabotage and self-induced suffering. While my tolerance for my emotions is higher than before, I know that it still has a threshold—which, if I exceed, could thrust me into crisis.
Lastly, if there’s anything I could say to Luna it would be that we had fun; it was pretty great when it was good. I learned a lot from you, and learned how to cringe at my past Raquel self for the things that I did while unstable. I’m sorry that you had to see that, and I think it’d be wise for you to work on establishing boundaries in the future for, not only your sake, but everybody’s sake. I’m kind of angry at you for the way things turned out, even if they’re all my emotions, and I know that it’s the process of grieving the loss of our friendship more than anything else. I wish things could have been different, and maybe, in some alternate reality they are.
But it’s time for me to move on now, and I know you’d understand, even if to you it’s a passing moment and to me it’s the world.